Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bluemont Virginia
The front brake and paint are not your friends in the rain. I try and just not use the front when in downtown areas or intersections when it’s raining. I had the same exact thing happen to me last year and I was on the ground so fast it was nothing I could have done well except not use the front brake. What happened was I broke my own rule of being extra slow......I was a little to fast and a blue hair just pulled out of a side street right in front of me. My reaction was to grab the front brake!!! The bike had a heavy load because I was traveling and I hit the front right in a area where there was a ton of road paint. Stupid but it happens and I had been riding all day, 500 plus miles so I was tired. It all added up to my fault so live and learn.
Would ABS help in this type of scenario, the simple answer is yes, I guess!! Of course it would have helped but still if you grab a big hand full of front in the rain its still has the potential to put you on your ear especially if your on that nasty cross walk/direction arrow paint. In my case the planets aligned and not in my favor. Rain, paint on the road, off camber and downhill road, tired rider, fully loaded bike, front brake = On my ear;-)
The best rule of thumb is to slow down and relax and reduce the amount of input into riding the bike. Riding in rain just requires you think about your objective and then just slow down and take your time, be very smooth, and allow plenty of distance to stop. Make small corrections and ride gentile. Ultra gentle inputs with brakes, clutch, steering and throttle. I try to just not touch the front brake. Make sure no one is following too closely for the reason just stated. Falling down at low speed on a slick surface probably won’t hurt you, but if the car behind you can’t stop or doesn’t know how, it could be nasty. If I get a tail-gater in rain/snow I pull over or wave him past. Also, don’t expect drivers to recognize how precarious things are.
Falling rain and driving wind pushing rain around will make you harder to see and they will cut you off, turn in front of you, and stop without warning. Unless it’s a light, brief rain or you are close to home, head for the closest motel or eatery, or the quickest way out of the storm. Start your ride late or just wait until the rain slows down before pulling out; also try to avoid any area that will have a rush hour and go after that craziness is over!
I ride everyday rain or shine and it just pays to slow down and get there safe.
Last edited by douglasgraham; 05-17-2012 at 08:57 AM.